NEW YORK — Tucked away on a quiet block in the East Village sits a new book shop that is attracting lots of animal lovers — and their pets.

Owner Cleo Le-Tan opened Pillow-Cat Books in September, and says it’s the first bookstore in the city dedicated primarily to animals.

What You Need To Know

  • Pillow-Cat Books in the East Village is the first bookstore in the city dedicated primarily to animals, owner Cleo Le-Tan says

  • For books to be let in, there’s only one rule: an animal must be present, whether as a character or in the title

  • The bookstore opened in September and sells books for readers of all ages

  • Le-Tan opened the shop after visiting nearly every bookstore and library in the city, then writing her own book, "A Booklover’s Guide to New York"

When she’s choosing which books to sell in her shop, there’s only one rule: an animal has to be present.

“Or even an animal name, like John Updike’s "Rabbit Run" — it’s not really about rabbits,” Le-Tan said. “People come in sometimes, they’ve read about [the shop] or something, and they’re like, 'This is pushing it, why do you have this in it?'"

“All the books are organized by animal, so each animal has its own section,” Le-Tan explained. “There’s a rodent section, there’s a reptile section, there’s an insect section.”

(NY1/Stef Manisero)

Le-Tan said her favorite characters are animals — Snoopy from the "Peanuts" gang and Babar the Elephant, to name a few. So she wanted to open a place to honor not only them, but all animals.

She said people often come in looking for books about their pets.

“People walk in and they’re like, ‘Oh I have a French bulldog,'” Le-Tan said. “Believe it or not, there’s a Samoyed dog that comes by, so this book’s for him.”

Le-Tan was inspired to open the shop after she visited nearly every bookstore in the city, interviewed their owners, and wrote her own book, "A Booklover’s Guide to New York." She wrote the majority of it from the Mulberry Street Library.

(NY1/Stef Manisero)

“I just love libraries,” Le-Tan said. “And so I wanted to write a book which had libraries, which had literary landmarks, which had book shops.”

Her book’s cover was illustrated by her late father, Pierre Le-Tan, an artist who got his start in the 60s and 70s illustrating covers for The New Yorker.

(NY1/Stef Manisero)

“He definitely did take us around antique shops and book shops and things that we used to find a bit boring as kids,” Le-Tan said. “But in the end, now that I’m an adult, I can appreciate it.”

An appreciation for the simpler things — be it cuddling up with a pet, or a good book.

“Book shops are nostalgic; books are something you keep forever,” Le-Tan said. “When you’re in a book shop, it feels like you should be in a book shop, you know?”